Ultimate Provence: another side of Provence in the Massif des Maures
A "hotel-vineyard"? To find out more about this this concept, check out the Massif des Maures at the UP hotel for Ultimate Provence. The name says it all: with this boutique hotel set in the heart of the estate's 46 hectares (113 acres) of vines, you can savor all sides of Provence in a unique way! Barrels suspended from the reception, which also function as cellars, lounges and rooms, decorated in southern French colors and contemporary materials. The style of the hotel is laid-back urban. There are a few nuances: at the edge of the swimming pool as on the huge rooftop of the restaurant, you can mingle and discover house wines and the fusion cuisine in a lovely setting. As far as the eye can see, pines and vines stretch to the horizon!
Bastide de Fléchon: a mansion in the heart of the Alpilles
A bouquet of olive trees crest along the chain of hills of the Alpilles, stretching behind the turquoise of the swimming pool. It's hard to imagine a better sight to wake up to! Nestled in a hectare (2.5 acres) of gardens, La Bastide de Fléchon has had a makeover: behind its 18th century facade hides a Provençal dream house with noble materials, from Baux-de-Provence limestone to dark oak floors. A real family home (five bedrooms) with hotel services, set to the soundtrack of the ever-present cicadas. For large groups, the Mas de Chabran (8 bedrooms), renovated by the same duo of architects, deploys its more generous volumes: a 3.5 hectare (8 acre) park with basins, a fountain, pergolas and large heated swimming pool lie at the foot of the olive trees. It even boasts a spa with sauna!
Lodges Sainte-Victoire: a balcony on the mountain
High above the horizon is the Sainte-Victoire mountain. On its face, gazing out on the horizon, lords the Château de Vauvenargues, Picasso's last home! Everywhere you look, you see thousands of shades of one color: green, green, and more green! Soak in the view of the ocean of pines and oaks from the panoramic terrace of the fusion cuisine restaurant, or from the swimming pool that stretches along the facade. Be sure to opt for one of the 15 rooms and suites with balconies, to relax between two trails in the mountains so dear to Cézanne. Green may dominate in this spot, but all colors are worshipped.
"Elle participe toute bleutée à la respiration ambiante de l’air" ("It participates all bluishness in the ambient breathing of the air"), said the painter, whose palette exercised all the colors to pay homage to his eternal muse!
Château de La Gaude: between French gardens and a wine estate
A stainless steel shark washed up between the pines, sea urchins planted in the lawn—you are not on the seaside, but near Aix-en-Provence in the heart of the 25 hectares (61 acres) of Château La Gaude, a five-star spot where the art of living is reinvented at every step, between French gardens and vineyards. Put down your suitcases in one of the 14 uncluttered rooms and suites spread on the property of the historic-listed 17th century country house and its outbuildings. Let yourself be carried away by the hedonistic atmosphere of a place inspired totally by art and wine. Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant or chic brasserie, cocktail bar with a view of the vat room, exceptional cellar, all at your disposal between sessions at the Spa Valmont!
Lily of the Valley: detox in Saint-Tropez
A stone's throw from Saint-Tropez, this is a discrete hideaway, perched in a setting of pine forests with dazzling views of the sea. The refuge was designed by Philippe Starck, who imagined architecture inspired by the gardens of antiquity and the Provençal abbeys: a dream of the fantasized Mediterranean. At Lilly of the Valley, Provençal nature reclaims its birthright at on every corner: it covers the roofs of the 44 rooms and suites with exuberant vegetation and invites itself on the plates of the two restaurants, one of which is dedicated to vegetarians/vegans. This little piece of the Côte d'Azur has been designed as a Garden of Eden in which to recharge your batteries: in the "Village", its wellness wing, 2,000 m² (21527 ft²) of the properity is dedicated to sports and fitness!